Germany attacker Thomas Mueller has played down any wider political significance of the upcoming Euro 2012 quarter-final against Greece.
Friday’s clash in Gdansk has been built up as a battle between two nations at the heart of the Eurozone crisis, with many Greeks resenting German attempts to impose steep public sector cuts on their government in a bid to curb spiralling debt.
Mueller echoed the sentiments of Germany coach Joachim Loew by saying politics will not play a role in the last-eight showdown and the focus will solely be on football.
“The politics is not a topic for us and so far it has not come up,” he told Bild.
“That does not mean it is forbidden to talk about, but I quite like Greek people from my experiences.”
The 22-year-old added that the team was feeling confident ahead of the clash, having won all the games in their section to emerge top of the ‘Group of Death’.
“We are the only team to get nine points from the group stage and that has given us a lot of confidence,” he said.
“(Greece) have a few really good players in their ranks. But against us they have it all to do. We must be careful.”
Despite their perfect record in the tournament so far, Mueller admitted his side still have room to improve.
“I can understand that despite our three wins there is much more to be desired,” he said.
“Not everything went perfectly. That’s on us. We have not played up to our potential, especially in attack.
“Every player still has 2 per cent more to give. Everything else was down to the opponents who defended really well.”